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From Soup to Mutts, Cal Maritime Cadets Perform Record Number of Community Service Hours

(VALLEJO, Calif. – July 30, 2012) – Whether they were fighting back, serving the homeless, restoring an historic WWII battleship, or tutoring local elementary students, California Maritime Academy cadets logged a record number of community service hours during the 2011/2012 academic year. All total, nearly 135 Cal Maritime performed 3,500 hours of community service to nearly 20 community partner organizations.

The service learning opportunities made available to cadets, are organized through the campus's Center for Community Engagement, which promotes community service and volunteerism among students. Given that Cal Maritime is one of the 23 campuses in The California State University (CSU), community service learning conducted by Cal Maritime students helps to support the CSU's efforts to serve the economic, public policy and social needs of our state.

It also provides the added benefit of feeling a sense of accomplishment that comes from serving the community at large.

"Working with the youth of Benicia and Vallejo area was an amazing opportunity," said Jason Drouyor '14, a global studies and maritime affairs student who volunteers with a local Boy Scouts of America troop. "Without doubt, I have learned and taken away more from the experience then I could even hope to give back."

Solano County community organizations that were served by the volunteer efforts of Cal Maritime students during the 2011/2012 academic year include:

• Fighting Back Partnership
• Habitat for Humanity of Napa and Solano
• Grace Patterson Elementary
• Christian Help Center
• First Baptist Church Soup Kitchen
• Continentals of Omega Boys & Girls Club
• Mare Island Technology Academy
• Humane Society of the North Bay
• Mare Island Historic Park Foundation
• Global Center for Success
• Camp Epic
• Local Boy Scout and Sea Scout troops

In addition, cadets logged hundreds of volunteer hours during the spring assisting in a major transformation of the USS Iowa, a World War II battleship is now berthed at the Port of Los Angeles. Prior to being transported from the San Francisco Bay to Southern California, a team of Cal Maritime engineering cadets played an integral role in the transformation of the battleship into an interactive and educational museum.

“Week after week these cadets crawled through the bowels of the ship, closing hundreds and hundreds of void covers, and meticulously tracking their progress – an essential task before departure," said Sue Schmidt, volunteer coordinator for the Pacific Battleship Center. "They would emerge at the end of long days, filthy, exhausted, grinning from ear to ear – and they would return again the next day or week to do it again.”

For more information on Cal Maritime's Center for Community Engagement, contact communityengagement@csum.edu or 707-654-1288.

Photo Caption: Cadet Ayaba Takougnadi cleans up the Point Pinole shoreline during the Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 16, 2012. He was one of 12 Cal Maritime cadets who participated in the event.

ABOUT CAL MARITIME
Established in 1929, The California Maritime Academy, a campus of The California State University, is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Cal Maritime was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as #18 in the “Top 20 Best Value Colleges” in the nation – and the #1 Best Value in California for providing students with the highest quality education for their academic dollar. Located in Vallejo, Calif., the campus serves approximately 900 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. It also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses. For more information about Cal Maritime, visit www.csum.edu.